It's been about two weeks since my 'luck' changed and I was thrown into the world of the triathlon.
It has been interesting. Overwhelming. Annoying. Exciting. Terrifying. The 'lucky' ten ETS employees chosen were spotlighted on the company intranet for a few days. Results were mixed. I got lots of 'that's so cool, good luck!" A few "congratulations." A lot of the same quizzical look I usually get whenever I mention any of my athletic endeavors. My mom is very worried.
I finally conquered my fear of public pools and stepped foot into the pool area at my gym. It wasn't really the fear of the pool as much as it was the fear of being outside my comfort zone. I feel very confident in my running clothes and on a treadmill. However, squeezing into my new Speedo suit made me feel so awkward and exposed. When I entered the pool area, I had flashbacks to being the new girl in high school. I coped with being exposed and uncomfortable the same way as I did in high school. I made friends by babbling nervously to anyone who would listen.
Pool people are much friendlier than treadmill people. I guess it's because on the 'mills everyone is face forward, headphones in, marching in a syncopated line towards nothing. In a pool, it's a little more casual.
Swimming is not nearly as easy as it looks. It's actually really difficult and requires much more coordination and strength than I was expecting. I thought my arms and shoulders were alright from the sensei's love of push-ups and sit ups. My arms felt like Jell-o after only 20 minutes of laps.
Swim caps do nothing to keep your hair dry. I foresee about five months of bad hair days in my future.
Cycling is expensive. My boyfriend and I have been 'bike shopping' and it's a lot like car shopping. Scott does most of the talking while I stare at the price tags. The sales guys politely laugh at my jokes and spew a lot of technical jargon at me.
"So, you've got a carbon fiber fork here that will make for a stiffer ride. The nine-gear shifter is a shinto that will allow for a smooth transition. The frame is aluminium which is why the price is a littler higher." I've learned the importance of sizing, inseam, seat height, handle bars, and forks.
There are even test drives! But road bikes do not come in automatic. We've visited four stores and I've taken three test rides. It's terrifying but fun. On Saturday we stopped by Guy's Bikes in Feasterville, Pa. This place was great. I took two bikes out for a ride and finally felt comfortable and not at the mercy of gravity or pot holes. I fell in love with two bikes and after Uncle Sam pays me for being an American citizen, I'll be ready to buy.
I took a spin class at my gym last week too. Again, I was very outside of my comfort zone and turned on my chatty Linds side. I loved the class and was amazed that I hadn't tried it before. The hour-long class was intense and challenging but never did it feel impossible. I was sweaty and panting by the end and had covered 24 miles! There is a lot to learn about spin and cycling. I am really looking forward to the cycling portion of this adventure.
I am worried about the two half marathons that I'm committed to before the triathlon. I went from maintaining a runner/ninja schedule. Monday and Wednesday evenings were 45 minutes of 'cross training' at the dojo. Tuesdays and Thursdays were tempo runs and speed work on the treadmills. Saturday mornings were sparring at the dojo followed by a 'long' run at the park. Sunday rest. I'm having trouble adding swimming and cycling into that mix. I'm in the 'learning' phase and need to nail down a schedule and plan as to avoid getting overwhelmed and hurt. My back is already revolting about this and I'm sure my knees will be soon too.